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Physical Health

Why Employers Care

Helping employees maintain or improve their physical health is important to employers for several reasons:

  • Healthy lifestyle factors such as healthy weight, physical activity, good nutrition and zero tobacco use are together responsible for as much as an 80 percent reduction in the risk of developing the most common and deadly chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.1
  • Healthy behaviors, like engaging in physical activity and eating fruits and vegetables, are associated with improvements in an individual's overall well-being.2,3,4
  • Serious health problems, especially those that cause pain and interfere with daily functioning (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis) can lower employees' well-being.5

What Can Employers Do?

Workplace well-being initiatives have grown and expanded significantly over the last several years in response to the growing prevalence of lifestyle-related chronic diseases and their associated costs. As a part of these initiatives, most large employers have a variety of strategies in place to promote weight management, encourage healthy eating, increase physical activity, eliminate tobacco use, and help employees appropriately manage chronic conditions.


References (show references)

1 Willett WC. Balancing Lifestyle and Genomics Research for Disease Prevention. Science. 2002;296:695–98.

2 Blanchflower D, Oswald A, Stewart-Brown S. Is psychological well-being linked to the consumptionof fruit and vegetables? Social Indicators Research. 2013;114(3)

3 NEF. Well-being at work. http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/entry/well-being-at-work. Accessed July 8, 2015

4 CLES & NEF. Big Lottery Fund National Well-being Evaluation: Progress report and interim findings. February 2011

5 Diener E, Seligman M. Beyond money toward an economy of well-being. Psychological Science in the Public Interest. 2004;5(1):1-31

Page last updated: May 2, 2016

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